Eric is the man who heads our winemaking team in the Rhône. First and foremost Eric is a thoroughly good bloke! We’re not sure there is an exact French translation for this compliment, but even if there were, Eric would probably respond with a Gallic shrug and his usual self effacement.
Eric is driven and passionate, as well as being easy company, with a ready smile and a great sense of fun – but he’s also very good at what he does. With a first degree in physics, chemistry and biology from Besancon University, and a Masters in Oenology from the University of Reims, he knows his stuff. His experience at the Champagne House Louis Roederer, and later in Burgundy where he worked for Bouchard Père et Fils in Beaune and William Fèvre in Chablis, shines through when you see him in action: put half a dozen “blind” wines in front of him and there is no doubt that this man has a great palate, an inquisitive character and a very systematic intellect.
Stand Eric in a vineyard and note his deeply impressive observational skills. Watch him in the cellars and you will see a talented wine maker, with a phenomenal work ethic.
Today Eric divides his time between the winery in Cairanne, and visiting growers and winemakers throughout the Rhône, advising them on every aspect of the process, from when to harvest, right down to the final blend. His ability to make great wines – especially the reds for which this region is famous – is the reason we call him “Eric le Rouge”!
Estate Manager, Boutinot
Morvane Ceillier is the vital ‘other’ half of the Boutinot Rhône winemaking team.
Morvane credits her early interest in wine to her Uncle. While holidaying at the family's Beaujolais estate where he was manager he taught Morvane the basics of viticulture and oenology, “showing me how vines grow and later giving me my first sips of wine to taste and describe”.
Morvane qualified from the University of Beaune with a degree in viniculture and wine chemistry while working at the organic and bio-dynamic estate Domaine de la Vougeraie. Mentored by Pascal Marchand she learnt about non-interventionist winemaking which demanded knowledge of, and research into, the best viticultural practices. “Pascal was wonderful to work with because like Eric who I work with now, he was also passionate about great wines with balance, finesse and elegance.”
Then in 2001 she headed to America, to discover the true meaning of a ‘cellar rat’, working round the clock on one of the biggest crop’s at Flowers Vineyard and Winery in the Sonoma Valley.
Further formal wine education followed, with an oenologist diploma from the University of Montpellier (achieved at the same time as taking exams for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust!). Two Languedoc vintages followed – at Mas de Daumas Gassac and Mas des Armes – and Morvane went south, to Australia to become the assistant winemaker at Provenance Wines in Victoria.
With Southern Hemisphere winemaking experience under her belt, it was back to France to take charge of all aspects of winemaking at Domaine Aubrespy in the Côteaux du Languedoc.
Three years later, recognising Morvane as a passionate, generous and perfectionist winemaker, we managed to persuade her to join the Boutinot Rhône estate. “I definitely like the ethos of Boutinot Rhône – I’m a bit of a perfectionist and Eric and the rest of the guys at Boutinot believe that great wine starts with great fruit, which means a lot of time in vineyards making sure the grapes are at their best, which is great for me”.